Best & Worst Singles of the Week -- From The-Dream & T.I. to Death Cab for Cutie
Death Cab For Cutie
Many Death Cab for Cutie songs unfold like dreamy short stories, but "Black Sun," off the recently shuffled alt-rock act's eighth album, Kintsugi (due March 31), plays more like a surrealist poem. Ben Gibbard sings over spiraling synths, and the mood is eerily psychedelic, climaxing with a virtuosic guitar solo.--Ryan Reed
"Is it still OK that I don't know how to be alone?" Laura Marling asks on her brooding new single, which impressively augments her whimsical croon with some brawny electric-guitar muscle. The British folk-rocker vividly paints a stormy picture of inner-city anxiety, describing insomniacs and outcasts, all desperate for fleeting connection.--Ryan Reed
Cannibal Ox Featuring MF Doom
Cannibal Ox and MF Doom, underground hip-hop heroes of the early 2000s, have teamed up for a spaced-out display of vintage linguistic acrobatics. Fourteen years after the duo's classic indie-rap debut, The Old Vein, Can Ox's Vast Aire and Vordul Mega still sound hungry, even without former mentor El-P's dusty beats behind them.--Jason Lipshutz
Torres (aka Nashville alt-rocker Mackenzie Scott) captivates in this first glimpse of her second LP, Sprinter, unfolding a fractured tale of dementia and hatred over punishing art-grunge noise. "What's mine isn't really yours," she repeats through manic distortion, "but I hope you find what you're looking for."--Ryan Reed
The Dream Featuring T.I.
"That's My Shit"
The-Dream lays claim to another man's woman on "That's My Shit," talking trash in a silky purr until passing the baton to a similarly brash T.I. After a string of compelling R&B releases, The Dream whiffed on 2013's IV Play; with its pithy beat and overbearing machismo, this cut isn't the start of a new winning streak.--Jason Lipshutz
"Kinda Miss You"
BMG Primary Wave Artist Services
"I convinced myself I was through," sings Cox on the debut single off her first album in seven years, but the diva proves differently. Armed with a spicy pitter-patter hook, this slow-grooving dance surprise -- undoubtedly Cox's best cut in years -- drops some needed class back into the club.--Dan Hyman